It takes a village to raise a child and Luci from Village Raised says that it takes a cyber village to raise many.
“Village Raised is a crowdfunding platform and community to raise funds for clearly specified activities that benefit children. It has been developed for parents, teachers, schools, day cares, sports clubs, and other kid related groups, to raise funds for items, projects, and experiences such as books, computers, sporting equipment, musical instruments, excursions and camp trips, building a playground, garden, or basketball court.”
Village Raised has a 100% success rate for school crowdfunding campaigns!
- Help Darlo GO Digital was 124% funded with $6,221 raised
- Get Newton on the Net was 123% funded raising $7,355
- Who will be success number 3?
Many families have both parents working these days and struggling to find family time let alone time to volunteer on the sausage sizzle, a gala stall, or run around selling raffle tickets, chocolate bars, etc.
Schools want more funds to meet the education needs of children in a world that is changing rapidly and increasingly dependent on technology. The government wants to cut education funding more and more. This equals a funding gulf and a lack of time for traditional fundraising.
Luci is a member of her daughter Lani’s school P&C (Public & Citizen) Association and she set up the Village Raised crowdfunding website to help her daughter’s school with fundraising. That campaign was successful and friends with children at other schools said they wanted to use the platform for their schools so Luci has opened up the website for anyone to use for schools and groups that benefit children globally.
So how does one go about running a crowdfunding campaign for a school project?
A Basic Crowdfunding Plan for Schools
People – crowdfunding is a team sport! Get some people involved.
- Project Manager – an organiser to manage the campaign throughout its duration
- Helpers – for promotion, reward creation and delivery, etc
Plan – make a very basic plan to schedule who does what and when
Project – clearly define the purpose for the funds e.g. 12 new computers for room 13
Target Amount – calculate the target amount e.g. the cost of the 12 computers + the cost of reward fulfilment + fees payable to Village Raised (5% of funds raised + PayPal transactions fees). Plan a stretch goal or two to generate further funds once the initial project is funded e.g. the next $x will be used to purchase x,y,z software to run on the 12 computers and after that, the next $x will be used to purchase a video camera. The maximum target amount allowed is $90,000.
Village Raised uses the AoN (All or Nothing) crowdfunding payment model. This means for the crowdfunding campaign to be a success and receive the funds raised, the target amount must be reached within the timeframe. If it isn’t then no funds change hands. This is why it may be a good idea to break your project up with the initial goal being the least amount required to complete the project and include stretch goals for further funding of the extra items that would be nice to have.
Time frame and a ‘GO LIVE’ date – chose the timeframe and ‘go live’ date. Most successful crowdfunding campaigns are live for 30 to 40 days. However, the crowdfunding campaign starts before the GO LIVE date. You need to have people primed ready to pledge the moment it goes live. These first followers build momentum and encourage others to follow with their pledges. And once the crowdfunding campaign ends successfully, the delivery of the rewards will need to be organised and supporters thanked. Campaigns are able to run between 1 and 90 days on Village Raised.
Crowdfunding Campaign Page on Village Raised – requires a video, content and rewards
- Create a video and content for the crowdfunding campaign – an ideal opportunity for the children to be involved.
- Rewards – once again an opportunity for the children to be involved in suggesting ideas for rewards and creating some of the rewards. Some parents may have items to donate for rewards e.g. a business service which could offer which will also benefit the business by the exposure it receives. An ideal opportunity to send a note to parents requesting reward offers.
- The more early communication, the more the crowdfunding campaign is in the mind of parents and they are hopefully telling others about the upcoming crowdfunding campaign for the computers in their child’s classroom. Hopefully the children are getting excited about the upcoming crowdfunding campaign and the computers and are telling their friends and family about it. This all builds momentum.
- Email templates can be created, perhaps by the children for them and their families to forward to everyone they know with a request for a funding pledge and to forward the email on to their network.
- Flyers can be created by the students for shops and public areas.
- Social media can be used for publicity and perhaps this is another task the students could undertake.
- Include a notice in the school newsletter.
- Hopefully the local community newspaper will run an article.
- Updates and thank yous to pledgers throughout the crowdfunding campaign can be provided by the children.
- Another email template to send out at the midway point when the pledging often drops off or plan to introduce some new rewards. And then another planned publicity push in the last few days by way of an email template. This is particularly useful if you haven’t quite reached your target or to gain extra dollars to meet the stretch goals.
Spend the funds raised – once your crowdfunding campaign has been a success, the funds will be received and the project funded e.g. computers purchased and because you were so successful, the software and the video camera purchased too!
Reward fulfilment – deliver the promised rewards to your supporters
Thank everyone involved – a group can run a maximum of 4 crowdfunding campaigns per year on Village Raised. Remember to give thanks to all supporters – you may be needing them again!
The first time a crowdfunding campaign is run at the school, it will take a bit of extra work but if a plan and templates are created upfront, these tools can be used again in the future making subsequent campaigns easier. Also take the time to update the plan at the end of the successful crowdfunding campaign to reflect the lessons learned so next time it is even easier and more successful!
The fundraising time involved for a family may be simply the time it takes to make a pledge and the time it takes to forward a few emails on to friends and family.
Can school fundraising get any easier than this for our time-poor families?